Parts Known & Unknown: Exploring the Borders of Truth, Reconciliation and Redress

Every Child Matters

Parts Known & Unknown:  Exploring the Borders of Truth, Reconciliation and Redress

W. Kamau Bell joined Anthony Bourdain in Kenya in what was to be the final season of the CNN series, Parts Unknown. Kamau has roots in Kenya and this was his first time travelling to the motherlands of his people, and he stated something that I thought was interesting. He said something like, “coming to Kenya, you know, it’s nice to have a diasporic-kind-of-connection, even though I did not come from Kenya, but I have roots in Kenya, and even if that frame that the connection was built through was colonialism.”

It made me think about what it would be like for someone like myself to travel to the ancestral homes of my people. Well, this is my home. Certainly, more than it is your home, and in this era of truth and reconciliation, it is now both my home as much as it is your home. I come from no other place in the world than from right here, diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ – Ditidaht, we are the Nuuchahnulth and the seas for miles of shoreline and all of the land on the western side of our Vancouver Island home, from Point No Point in the south to Brooks Peninsula in the north, is Nuuchahnulth territory, our haahuulthii.

In the conclusion of that episode with W. Kamau Bell in Parts Unknown, Tony narrates an epilogue, “Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do, at least this time out. I do my best, I look, I listen, but in the end, I know it’s my story. Not Kamau’s, not Kenya’s, or Kenyans’. Those stories are yet to be heard.”

It’s important for colonial settlers, and for new settlers, to Canada to consider who you are and where you come from, and what it means to live in British Columbia, and to think about your own frame of reference as being truly Canadian, even if that frame that the connection was built through was colonialism. The context, the narrative, the history, the good or bad of it, the story of what it means to be Canadian is apart and a part of your individual and shared story as a British Columbian, as a Canadian, as an unwelcomed or welcomed colonial settler, and as a new settler. The stories that have yet to be heard, and are now starting in some ways to be told, is our story, my story, of what it means to be diitiidʔaaʔtx̣, to be Nuuchahnulth, to be First Nations, to be Indigenous, and to also be Canadian in this country and in this province.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a unique opportunity to bridge the divide of our individual and collective stories, our distinct and shared experiences, and our united effort to right and write a new history chaptered with the stories of a sincere determination to tell the truths of the past, to reaffirm and renew our commitments to reconcile all things oppressive, racist and insufferable, and to create an honest and just redress for all Indigenous – First Nations, Inuit, Métis – peoples. It would be momentous to proclaim someday that we all come from a country in which the frame that the connection was built through was equality, acceptance and compassion.

It’s fair to ask, “What will you do between October 1st, 2022 and September 29th, 2023, to recognize your part in this history, this story, and what will you actively do to shift the narrative?” We’re at an urgent time in our country’s history to thoughtfully and actively explore all parts known and unknown in our ongoing journey to come to terms with each other and with our past, and with the present day. I look forward to the work ahead this year, and I’ll look forward to us hearing each other’s stories next year and in the many years to come.

With Respect,

Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup
Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

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“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”

Read the Message from the Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituuphere

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Ramadan events at UBC Vancouver

Support learners and colleagues during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Support learners and colleagues during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Many Muslim staff, learners and faculty will be observing Ramadan which entails fasting, prayer self- reflection, spiritual cleansing, community building, and self-improvement. Those taking part in Ramadan have two meals per day. One before the sun rises Suhoor, and iftar which is a fast-breaking evening meal. Prayers take place five times per day ending with Isha’ (the last prayer of the day).  Following the Isha’ some may attend the long prayer Tarweeh bringing the community together in the mosque after the Iftar.

As noted by Nour Youssef in an interview to the Ubyssey, “Ramadan gives me some much needed time to sit with myself and reflect on how I spend my time, and the things I value the most. By giving up things that usually seem so essential to us – food and water being the biggest – we are encouraged to replace the time we used to spend on these things with things that are more beneficial to our inner spiritual state. Things that make us better family members, better friends, better worshippers and better humans.” 

How to support friends/colleagues observing Ramadan?

  • Extend Ramadan greetings such as: Ramadan/Ramzan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem. Arabic sayings that translate to blessed Ramadan and generous Ramadan. Your friends/colleagues will appreciate your thoughtfulness. 
  • The end of the month is marked by the new moon and Eid- al – Fitr is celebrated in order to show gratitude for the previous month of reflection. Common greetings are Eid Mubarak and Eid Sa’id which translates to Blessed Eid and Happy Eid.
  • Do not be apologetic for eating in front of your friend/colleague while they are fasting. To be more inclusive, avoid organizing events focusing on food during this time of the year (e.g. “lunch and learns” or “coffee hours”).
  • If you supervise self-identified Muslim staff, be flexible and mindful when scheduling for time off, events and meetings.  Consider flex time options. 
  • During fasting, Muslims are not allowed to drink water. Be thoughtful of this when scheduling long presentations or meetings.  
  • Educate yourself and raise awareness in order to create a more inclusive working/learning environment.
  • Do not assume every Muslim is fasting. If one of your Muslim colleagues/friends is not fasting it might be due to illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding, amongst other reasons. Abstain from asking why.  
  • Do not treat fasting as suffering. Many Muslims look forward to Ramadan; it is a sacred and deeply personal practice. 

Ramadan Mubarak!


International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Happy Nowruz!

New legislation will reduce barriers for people

EDI Student Scholarships in Orthopaedics

IBPOC Voices: A Conversation with Jorden Hendry

Join us virtually on Monday, April 17th, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (PST), for “IBPOC Voices: A Conversation with Jorden Hendry.” Jorden Hendry is Tsimshian/settler and a member of the Lax Kw’alaams band with nine years of experience contributing to reconciliation and anti-racism in the health and educational system. As a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, Jorden studies Indigenous Public Health and the systems that drive health disparities.

IBPOC Voices: A Conversation with Jorden Hendry

This virtual event is part of the IBPOC Voices, a new monthly series led by Dr. Neila Miled the anti-racism Advisor.

IBPOC Voices is an opportunity to meet and have a conversation with guests who identify as Indigenous, Black and people of color. This series centers IBPOC experiences and knowledge, and highlights how they navigate the different challenges and how they engage with equity, diversity and inclusion. It is also a space where guests talk about their vision of an equitable and just environment. This series is an opportunity to open spaces where we know each other more and create a sense of community because “We are fully dependent on each other for the possibility of being understood and without this understanding we are not intelligible, we do not make sense, we are not solid, visible, integrated; we are lacking. So, travelling to each other’s “worlds” would enable us to be through loving each other” (Maria Lugones)

Jorden Hendry

Jorden Hendry (she/her) is Tsimshian/settler and a member of the Lax Kw’alaams band with nine years of experience contributing to reconciliation and anti-racism in the health and educational system. As a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, Jorden studies Indigenous Public Health and the systems that drive health disparities. She intends to better understand the prevalence and factors associated with experiences of racism to inform policy and service provision. Jorden works at the Office of the Provincial Health Officer as a research assistant for the Unlearning and Undoing White Supremacy Project. Taking her learnings from her various lived and academic experiences, Jorden founded the SPPH Unlearning Club. She uses strong leadership to embed anti-racism and Indigenous ways of knowing into multiple levels of governance at UBC, doing so through serving on committees at the School of Population and Public Health and being a graduate student representative to the UBC Vancouver Senate.


  • Dr. Neila Miled – Anti-Racism Advisor

Topic: IBPOC Voices: A Conversation with Jorden Hendry

Date: Monday, April 17th, 2023

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm PST

What Will I Learn?

You will learn more about IBPOC experiences and knowledge, and how IBPOC navigate the different challenges and engage with equity, diversity and inclusion.

Meet WOW (Wonderful Orthopaedic Women)

Meet Women in the Faculty of Medicine

International Women’s day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8th to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of all women (UN Women, 2021). 

In British Columbia, Canada, Women have made significant strides in the medical field. However, disparities still exist in terms of salary, promotion, and leadership opportunities. While women make up a large proportion of the healthcare workforce, they are underrepresented in top leadership positions (Doctors of BC, 2021) 

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of women and to raise awareness about the challenges they still face, including in the medical field. While there has been progress made, there is still much work to be done. It is important to continue to advocate for equal opportunities and support for women in all fields, including medicine.


UN Women. (2021). International Women’s Day.

Doctors of BC. (2021). Gender Equity in BC Medicine: Share Your Thoughts and Have Your Say.